The national chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Freddie Blay, has described the controversy surrounding the national cathedral as needless.
The government has come under severe backlash recently following reports that it has released some GHC25 million as additional seed capital to construct the edifice aimed at attracting religious tourists to the country.
“People are talking about poverty, there are schools under trees, people are talking about hospital beds, syringes, even in the Bible it was said that ‘the poor will be with us’. This is not going to carry all our economy, this is not in Yamoussoukro, this is in Accra here, it is not completely out of place,” the former MP said.
“And therefore don’t make it look like as if the whole chunk of our finances is being channeled in putting up a church. It is much ado about nothing. The issue has been blown out of proportion,” Blay said on Townhall Talk on Asaase Radio (17 June).
He added: “Some say they want to find out how much is being spent on it. Yes, it is an issue of accountability, that will be done.”
Stop building National Cathedral
Meanwhile, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the MP for North Tongu has suggested to President Akufo-Addo to consider halting the National Cathedral project.
The lawmaker argues much wealthier economies took longer period in constructing a similar project compared to the four-year timeline in Ghana.
“Proverbs 21:3 — “Doing what is right and fair pleases the Lord more than an offering.” We pray President Akufo-Addo ponders over this scripture and stops all his ungodly and unconstitutional actions in the name of a National Cathedral offering unto God. Expect more leaks this week,” he posted on Facebook.
“Much wealthier economies took a longer period to construct their flagship cathedrals so other critical sectors do not suffer unduly. Washington NC: 82 years Milan Cath: 579 years London St. Paul’s: 35 years Cologne Cath: 74 years “Super Rich” Ghana, despite the current excruciating economic crisis is doing 4 years (2020-2024) All hail the world’s Show Boy, Addo D,” he added.
Features of cathedral
The president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, accompanied by senior members of the Clergy, laid the foundation stone for the Cathedral on 5 March 2020 to signal the start of construction. A National Cathedral Secretariat has since been set up to raise funds from individuals and the private sector for its construction, while work continues apace.
The cathedral will house a series of impressive chapels, a baptistery, a 5000-seat two-level auditorium, a grand central hall, music school, choir rehearsal, art gallery, shop and multi-use spaces. It will also be home to Africa’s first Bible Museum and Documentation Centre, dedicated to Christianity and nation-building in Ghana.
A new ceremonial route and landscape will be linking the Cathedral site to Ghana’s prominent, celebratory landmarks – Independence Square, Osu Cemetery, the State House and Africa Unity Circle.